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October and leaf-peeping season off to a dry, warm start

Dave Epstein’s guide to leaf peeping this fall
WATCH: Meteorologist Dave Epstein shares the top locations for leaf peeping in New England and the right times to visit.

If you didn’t know it was autumn by the calendar, all that you have to do is look at the early-afternoon temperatures. Worcester was still in the mid 50s with a stiff wind Tuesday. Sunshine was certainly evident to the north and eventually this drier air will arrive in Southern New England.

With temperatures not being very warm this afternoon, it’s going to be fairly cold tonight for this time of year. Readings will be back down in the 40s and if you sleep with the windows open, you’ll probably going to need an extra blanket. This is likely the coldest night we’re going to see for the next couple of weeks as the pattern allows average or even warmer-than-average conditions ahead.


There haven’t been a lot of dry stretches this year, with some areas already having received their average yearly precipitation. Over the next 10 days it looks like a much drier pattern.

The only chance of rain I see is on Friday and that is most likely over southern sections as a weak area of low pressure passes to the south.

Drier than average conditions are likely for the first 10 days or so of October.NOAA

If you look at the little loop I put together below, you’ll see several blue H’s across the Northeast, which represent areas of high pressure that will keep rain away.

It will also bring about more sunny days, some of which could actually be quite warm. It’s not going to be surprising if we see a day in the 70s or even near 80 degrees heading into the weekend.

An area of rain will continue to move out to sea this weekend as high pressure moves off the coast.TropicalTidbits

This weekend brings us to October, which also means the foliage is continuing to change.

Unfortunately here in Southern New England the amount of rain over the past several months has led to quite a bit of leaf fungus. You’ll notice leaves turning a muted green or brown, drying up, and then falling off, especially on maples.


However there’s been much less rain across Vermont as well as other parts of Northern New England.

Much of Vermont has seen drier than average conditions the past couple of months which can lead to more vibrant fall foliage. In southern New England, the plethora of rain has allowed lots of leaf fungus which can lead to more muted colors.NOAA

This will ultimately lead to some pretty good color and I suspect you’re going to see some pictures of foliage in that part New England looking pretty stunning. This doesn’t mean we’re not going to see great color here and that you’ll have to take a drive that far north, but I think there will be a notable difference between Northern and Southern New England this year.

Ironically the weather over the next couple of weeks looks ideal, too. So let’s see how things unfold across the canopy.